Tis’ the Season for Happy Healthy Pets

As we head into another holiday season filled with family, friends and food, most of us are also sharing the joy with our furry companions. Tis’ the season for happy heathy pets as well! Although we often want to pull up a chair and fill a plate for our dogs, especially during this time of year, it is important to know which foods we can share and which foods to avoid. These tips should help Fido safely participate in the festivities and may be good information to share at the holiday dinner table!

Foods to Avoid:


Chocolate contains the methylxanthines theobromine and caffeine, which are both toxic to dogs. Once Fido has ingested them, they are quickly absorbed and distributed throughout his body. The signs of chocolate toxicosis generally start within 6-12 hours from the time it was eaten. Look out for excessive thirst, vomiting, and diarrhea. These signs may progress into seizures and even death.  If you think that your pet has ingested chocolate, call animal poison control immediately. It is extremely beneficial if you know what type and the amount of chocolate ingested. This can help animal poison control better treat and care for your pet. 

Raisins and Grapes

Grandma’s oatmeal raisin cookies may be the highlight of our holiday, but unfortunately, they ca not be shared with our four-legged friends. Raisins and grapes can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea within 6-12 hours of ingestion.  Serious injury to their kidneys can occur within 24-72 hours if left untreated. The damage to the kidneys leads to reduced or complete failure in urine production and eventually death. If you think that your pet has ingested raisins or grapes immediately call animal poison control.

Yeast Dough

There is nothing quite like fresh bread for the holidays but rising dough can pose a threat to our beloved counter surfers. When dogs ingest raw bread dough containing yeast, their stomachs provide the perfect environment for the yeast to multiply. This causes the stomach to expand and can cut off the blood supply to the stomach wall. If the stomach expands enough it can even impact the lungs. As the yeast replicate, they produce alcohol (ethanol) which is absorbed in the blood and can cause further gastric irritation and disorientation. If you think that your pet has ingested raw dough contact a veterinarian immediately for further guidance.

Foods to Share in Moderation:

While there are some foods that dogs should not ingest at all, there are also some that should only be shared in moderation. Even though these healthy foods do contain needed nutrients and protein, they should not be fed in large quantities. 

  1. Cooked, Unseasoned Sweet Potato
  2. Cooked, Unseasoned Vegetables (Brussel sprouts, broccoli, green beans, carrots)
  3. Cooked, Unseasoned Chicken

When it comes to sharing food with dogs, this is just a brief list of major Do’s and Don’ts. Many of your favorite holiday snacks also may not be well suited for pets. To ensure that tis’ the season for happy heathy pets, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website for more information on food toxicity or call the hotline (888 426-4435).

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